This quarter, Appcelerator and IDC focused on answering the “Big Why” question and discovered more insight into Android’s strategic advantage with developers in embedded devices, especially in emerging areas like connected TV. In addition, as the second largest application publisher with over 4,000 Titanium apps in market and one of the most extensive mobile APIs on the market, Appcelerator and IDC also went deep on the applications developers are building and their use of popular Mobile Web 2.0 APIs like Amazon, Facebook Connect, Foursquare, Google Maps, PayPal, and Twitter.
Top level findings:
- 72% of developers say Android “is best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future”, compared to 25% for iOS. As we’ll show in more detail, this begins to explain why 59% of developers now favor Android’s long-term outlook, vs. 35% for iOS.
- Developers are also showing enthusiasm for connected TVs, with 44% saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for Google TV vs. 40% for Apple TV. Explains Scott Ellison, VP Mobile & Wireless, IDC, “Apps are poised to help remake the television viewing experience just as they have remade the mobile experience. Television needs new and more effective ways to create immersive experiences, engage audiences with advertisers, integrate social networks, and drive viewership of original broadcasts” he added, “The television players who most effectively integrate app developers into their connected TV strategies are poised to potentially remake the television experience as we know it.”
- Apple iOS continues to dominate in all categories relating to market/revenue opportunity and current devices. iPhone continues to lead overall developer sentiment with 91% saying they are “very interested” in developing for the device compared to 82% for Android phones.
- Android tablets are poised for developer lift-off: At 62% expressing strong interest, Android has similar enthusiasm to the iPad at an analogous point in time (last January pegged iPad at 58%). This is great news for Android tablet device OEMs. On the other end, new research shows webOS and BlackBerry tablets currently have little interest from developers (16% for both), indicating HP, RIM, and other tablet platform challengers need to generate significant developer enthusiasm well in advance of upcoming launches.
- Fragmentation remains a key concern for Google, with 74% of developer respondents describing iOS as “least fragmented” but only 11% describing Android as such.
We question if developers and the mass market fully understand the privacy concerns that have been raised about the applications available to both Apple and Android users (e.g. nearly 20% of Android applications seize private data). This along with the eventual availability of the iPhone on carriers other than AT&T in the U.S. will be deciding factors that are not fully captured in this research. However, the Appcelerator and IDC report shows the current momentum with developers.
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